Today is our birthday, and over these 36 years we’ve achieved so much working alongside communities to support their efforts to improve their health and challenge the root causes of poverty. Our mission in 1984 to support the most marginalised communities with struggling healthcare services is still at the heart of what we do today.
Here are a few of our proudest moments over the last year:
-In Kenya, we helped to unite religious leaders to speak out against violence towards women and female genital mutilation (FGM) in their communities. We also supported local health workers to receive training on how to manage cases of violence towards women, and what to do if survivors choose to take legal action.
“FGM and other forms of gender-based violence have nothing to do with Islam, it’s just an outdated cultural belief and our people need to stop these acts. We will go to every doorstep to enlighten people on the health consequences of practising this act to our innocent girls.” – Sheikh Abdiweli, one of the trained religious leaders and a respected member of the local community in Mandera East, Kenya.
-In Guatemala, pregnant indigenous women face many obstacles to receiving the care they need, for example, indigenous languages aren’t often spoken in health clinics, which can lead to increased deaths for both mothers and their babies. We facilitated the training of over 1,000 mothers-to-be on how to have a healthy pregnancy, and what to expect before and after birth. We also supported the training of government health staff on how to provide culturally appropriate healthcare so indigenous women are made to feel more comfortable visiting local health clinics.
-To highlight the links between global poverty and colonialism, our Policy & Campaigns team in England have launched a free lesson plan for sixth form teachers on how global poverty is created and maintained today, which has been downloaded across the country and has reached New Zealand and Mexico too!
-In Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos we’re working with partners to help end malaria in South East Asia. During 2019 alone, our teams there distributed over 88,000 malaria nets and tests among people who move through forests and borders for their work. We helped provide malaria treatment to over 700 people who are often denied access to healthcare because they don’t have a fixed location, helping to ensure no one is left behind in efforts to eradicate malaria.
Since Health Poverty Action was founded, our supporters have been vital in ensuring our colleagues around the world can continue this kind of life-changing, and in some cases, life-saving work.